Bradbury eyes derby boost

Christian Nanetti is a doubt for the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
Christian Nanetti is a doubt for the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines
Brett Poate. Picture: Neil Marshall

Moneys hope big crowd can inspire flying Southern League start

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Lee Bradbury insists it’s time for the Hawks to stop the rot at home.

The men from Westleigh Park host Basingstoke Town in a Skrill South clash tomorrow (3pm).

They have already lost four games in front of their own fans – including a 5-0 thumping by Sutton United.

But the manager is hoping his team can turn the corner in the Hampshire derby and make up for their previous defeats.

‘We have to view this as a good opportunity to get it right at home,’ said Bradbury.

‘It is difficult to put a finger on just why we have struggled at home.

‘Losing our last home league game 5-0 wasn’t nice for anyone connected with the club.

‘We suffered from 10 minutes of madness and now we have to make sure we remain solid from back to front.

‘I think we have just had a bad spell, like every team does at some stage of the season.

‘Hopefully we are coming out the other side and can go on a run.

‘We are more than capable of doing so.’

There have been encouraging signs over the past week that the Hawks are returning to form.

They followed up a deserved 3-1 league win at Maidenhead United with a comfortable 3-0 Hampshire Senior Cup success at Hartley Wintney.

The club’s strikers are beginning to find their goal touch – with Dennis Oli and Sahr Kabba showing an increasing sharpness in front of goal.

Kabba scored twice at Maidenhead, with Oli doing the same in the Hampshire Cup game on Tuesday night.

The two are starting to forge a partnership that can help fill the void left by the loss of leading goalscorer Ollie Palmer on the eve of the season.

Fellow striker Scott Jones is also proving influential as an impact player.

He has been causing problems for opposition defenders with his pace and infectious enthusiasm.

‘I have said all along that once we start being ruthless in both boxes we will win more games,’ added Bradbury.

‘It always helps when your strikers are scoring goals.

‘We are starting to see the best of Dennis Oli after his disjointed start to the season.

‘He suffered from the lack of a pre-season, then got tonsillitis before suffering a groin injury.

‘Now he is closer to full fitness he is proving a real handful for defenders’

French midfielder Nigel Atangara remains unavailable, having returned to his homeland for family reasons.

Meanwhile, Christian Nanetti is a serious doubt for the Hawks ahead of tomorrow’s derby.

The former QPR talent picked up a hamstring injury at Maidenhead and is struggling.

Kabba limped off in midweek and will have a late fitness test before a decision is made on his involvement.

Pompey loanee striker Ryan Bird is likely to be involved in the squad before he is expected return to Fratton Park next week.

Hawks: Bevan, Newton, Monteiro, Woodford, Blanchett, Kewley-Graham, Ryan, Ramsey, Oli, Kabba, Jones, Ciardini, Bird, Nanetti, Hutchinson, Przespolewski, Strugnell